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heliman 03-31-2010 04:19 AM

Yellow Dough???????
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I am still wondering about the composition of some dough I acquired recently which was very tasty, and am keen to duplicate it if possible. It is definitely not authentic Neapolitan dough and it does appear to have been enriched (perhaps with semolina/polenta. I have used it to make another sourdough starter (and still have the original one brewing away).

I have identified several key characteristics of the dough in question which I am hoping some experts here can suggest possible causal issues that could produce the characteristics concerned. This isn't designed to be a scientific experiment, simply a "best guess" and I have placed my own guess next to each as a starting point. I would like to use this information to drive experimentation to produce a similar dough.

1. Yellow colour - (perhaps this is due to the addition of semolina or polenta?)

2. Low hydration - (very little moisture in the dough)

3. Crunchy texture - more so than Neapolitan dough, and strange given (2.) above.

4. Consistency like window putty/play dough/plasticine

5. Very low yeast activity (after 4 days only very few bubbles appear in the dough which was kept in cling wrap in fridge) Sourdough?

Any suggestions on these items should hopefully get me started on the research process. Better still someone may recognise the set of characteristics and point me to a recipe that I could try that would produce a similar dough.

I have attached a pic of the bought dough but it may be difficult to see so a reference point for colour would be the white flour around the outside of the stretched dough.


david s 03-31-2010 05:50 AM

Re: Yellow Dough???????
I always put some semolina in my dough now because it gives the cooked base a nice crunch. About 2 Tbsp/4 cups of flour. It does not change the colour of the dough, but I think polenta, which is yellow might change the colour.

splatgirl 03-31-2010 08:12 AM

Re: Yellow Dough???????
What you've said about color, texture and consistency all make me think it has some kind of corn component.

semolina is wheat
"polenta" is corn

heliman 03-31-2010 08:34 AM

Re: Yellow Dough???????
OK thanks - just did quick search and wasn't able to find any pizza dough recipes that include polenta. Polenta and semolina only seem to be used for non-stick purposes and not for incorporating in the recipe itself...

heliman 03-31-2010 08:36 AM

Re: Yellow Dough???????
Would olive oil give a yellow colour perhaps?? Doesn't smell very olivey though!

splatgirl 03-31-2010 09:01 AM

Re: Yellow Dough???????
corn flour would differ from corn meal, (ala polenta) in that it has a finer grind. Fine ground corn flour is also known as masa. Regular supermarkets usually carry it, the brand name being "Masa".
Semolina flour as I am familiar with it comes in more than one grind and the term "semolina" refers to the variety of wheat (hard durum) moreso than the grind. Coarse semolina is fairly common in baked goods. Fine semolina flour is usually used for pastamaking, AFAIK. Both do impart a yellow color.

splatgirl 03-31-2010 09:06 AM

Re: Yellow Dough???????
If the dough is highly elastic vs. not, that would be indicative of wheat. Corn flour does not contain gluten like wheat so your description of the dough like play dough makes me thing low gluten. Ever had a Mexican tamale? That's corn flour.

Dino_Pizza 04-01-2010 10:21 PM

Re: Yellow Dough???????
Good point, the only place I've ever seen yellow dough is in gluten-free pizza mixes which have a lot of corn flour in them. I've done gluten free pizza's twice now and the consistency and and texture seems like what you came across Rossco but do you know if it's low/non gluten?

Wow, splatgirl: I re-read your post and can't believe I've never realized -but should know- semolina and polenta are, of course, different grains. It's funny how your mind just assumes something when we know better. All the Italian pasta we buy says semolina and we know it's not corn but it's easy to get confused for some reason. Probably because they are both thought of as Italian products.

Rossco, did the yellow dough produce a biscuit like product or bread like product?

heliman 04-02-2010 02:06 AM

Re: Yellow Dough???????
3 Attachment(s)
Hi Dino & Splat ...

Would you believe that I have just this minute baked an experimental pizza based on the sourdough starter that I have been running for a while now. I only had a semi-coarse semolina (not the flour) but I have to say that I was amazed with the end result. The dough was about 2 days old and had developed a putty like consistency as per the other dough. It wasn't yellow though but I attribute this, at least in part, to the coarseness of the semolina.

I will be getting some semolina flour tomorow to continue with the experimental process which produced a nice firm, crisp crust that about doubled in thickness during the cooking process. The base browned nicely, but I will definitely reduce the amount of the high gluten semolina added as it tended to be ever so slightly tough on cooling. Correct semolina ratio to flour is 3 or 4:1 when mixed with baker's flour. Hopefully it will turn out yellow too!

This flour should also keep for a good few days and will most likely improve with age in the fridge. The other dough that I make seems to puff up and become unusable after a few days fermenting in the fridge.

Managed to grab a quick pic of the last 2 pieces - it didn't last long!!!

heliman 04-02-2010 06:31 AM

Re: Yellow Dough???????
Sorry Dino - just noticed your questions.

Evidently the semolina flour concerned is high gluten according to this table:
Bread Maker Compressed yeast conversions and flour protein content
That would be consistent with my observations of the dough being quite firm, yet pliable after being allowed to rest a while.

Certainly more bread than biscuit texture wise. This despite my keeping the hydration level quite low. The hunt for the elusive yellowness continues...

PS is it only me, or do others also feel the urge to sing out in a Zappaesque voice ... "careful where the huskies go and don't you eat the.... etc" when reading the title of this post?

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